Review : PAIN – "Cynic Paradise"

PainCynic Paradise
originally released October 31, 2008
re-released June 8, 2010 on Nuclear Blast Records

Rating: 2.5/5

Side projects in the Metal world usually form to either flesh out––or experiment with––enigmatic aspects of one’s personality. Pain is the result of Peter Tägtgren’s love for industrial metal, reportedly inspired by Fear Factory‘s Soul of a New Machine. Frankly, his attention is better devoted to the celebrated death metal of Hypocrisy.

Rarely do the songs pack the vicious bite of heavyweights like Ministry, and half of Cynic Paradise sounds sloughed off of Stabbing Westward. Tägtgren’s vocal pitch is actually uncomfortably close to Christopher Hall, which is probably why I drew the comparison. “I’m Going In” starts things off deceptively strong, and the programming is more seamlessly integrated (though I did not like the cliché ‘record scratch’ ending). “Monkey Business” is just as nasty, with a catchier chorus that drops a couple of cuss words for radio folks like me to dance around.

“Follow Me” is the first of two duets with Annette Olzon of Nightwish; Tägtgren has gotten friendly with the band since Hypocrisy toured with them in early 2008, as did Pain in early 2009. In fact, the North American version of Cynic Paradise will have a bonus live CD recorded on March 23-24, 2009 at the Zenith in Paris, during the band’s European tour with Nightwish. However, the version I reviewed had a standard track listing, with the bonus ELO cover that I did not find particularly interesting.

“Don’t Care” is improved by David Wallin’s live drums, and I would urge Tägtgren to consider this option in the future. The MF-bomb is easily bleeped, and I would be more inclined to play it, if not for the abrupt early finish. At thirty seconds shorter than any other track here, it feels unfortunately skeletal. “No One Knows” has a similar problem: the chorus is almost unbearably addictive, but it feels like it was written first, with the rest of the song as mere afterthought.

Honestly, I do not require this band in my discography apart from passing knowledge of Peter Tägtgren’s work. But he is not on my completist menu, so this Pain is getting bottled and buried.

FCC: 2, 5, 6, 10
Try 1, 7, 8, 11

01. I’m Going In
02. Monkey Business
03. Follow Me
04. Have A Drink On Me
05. Don’t Care
06. Reach Out (And Regret)
07. Generation X
08. No One Knows
09. Live Fast / Die Young
10. Not Your Kind
11. Feed Us
12. Here’s The News (Electric Light Orchestra cover)

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